To become a Harvard Basketball player, you need to learn our goals, standards, and identity. These values summarize everything we want to do and aspire to be as a team. It only takes a few words to describe what our program is built around but embracing and living up to our standards and identity isn’t as easy as you’d think.
My journey through Harvard and with Harvard Basketball has been the greatest adventure of my life thus far. I’ve traveled around the globe, met with world leaders, and most importantly, made incredible friends. I’ve been granted unbelievable opportunities through the basketball team, but to truly appreciate them, I had to learn a little about myself.
During my first few months at Harvard, I felt like the biggest imposter. I didn’t invest in friendships, struggled adjusting to a new environment, and felt like everyone on the basketball team was two steps ahead of me. I just couldn’t seem to figure out how I fit into Harvard.
But as our season began, I started to find my groove. The routine of classes, practices, and games gave me the structure I needed to excel how I wanted to. I bought into the team’s philosophy, took pride in dominating the defensive end, and as my role within the team grew, I grew more confident in my abilities as a ballplayer and student at Harvard.
Likewise, having the team’s standards and identity outlined for me helped shape my own beliefs. At first, I didn’t see how basketball correlated to life at large. But what I’ve come to realize is that who I am on the court is immensely reflective of who I am off of it. I care about doing the little things, executing on details, and helping my teammates be the best possible versions of themselves. I strive to always be learning and know that the direction I’m heading is more important than where I stand.
Basketball has helped me learn who I am and what I believe in. I think that it’s rare to be a part of something that gives you both structure and enough room to develop and flourish on your own.
I don’t know that I would have developed these values if I wasn’t able to play basketball at Harvard. Playing under Coach Amaker has taught me just as much about being a human as he did about playing the game of basketball. Some of my fondest memories are doing magic tricks in Milwaukee, solving riddles on a long bus ride back home, and working my ass off with my best friends.
It’s an incredible privilege to be part of the Harvard basketball family. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to grow and learn. Thank you to Coach Amaker, my teammates, and the rest of our staff for helping me flourish over these past four years.